Time window to constrain the corner value of the global seismic-moment distribution

Álvaro Corral, Isabel Serra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearch


© 2019 Corral, Serra. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. It is well accepted that, at the global scale, the Gutenberg-Richter (GR) law describing the distribution of earthquake magnitude or seismic moment has to be modified at the tail to properly account for the most extreme events. It is debated, though, how much additional time of earthquake recording will be necessary to properly constrain this tail. Using the global CMT catalog, we study how three modifications of the GR law that incorporate a corner-value parameter are compatible with the size of the largest observed earthquake in a given time window. Current data lead to a rather large range of parameter values (e.g., corner magnitude from 8.6 to 10.2 for the so-called tapered GR distribution). Updating this estimation in the future will strongly depend on the maximum magnitude observed, but, under reasonable assumptions, the range will be substantially reduced by the end of this century, contrary to claims in previous literature.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0220237
JournalPloS one
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


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